Published: Nov 30, 2011 9:50 PM EST
Updated: Nov 30, 2011 11:00 PM EST

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Teachers of Distinction were announced today in surprise classroom visits to their schools. These teachers received surprise congratulations from volunteers at The Education Foundation along with a $200 cash prize provided by the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation.

These teachers will continue in the Golden Apple Selection process which will involve more classroom observations and interviews by the community-based selection committee, and from this group, six teachers will be selected to receive a Golden Apple.

The Golden Apple teachers along with the Teachers of Distinction will be honored at the 22nd Annual Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Celebration presented by Suncoast for Kids Foundation on April 11, 2012, hosted by the Naples Grande. The celebration will feature video vignettes that will tell an in-depth story of the impact that these Golden Apple teachers have on their students. Students,families, educators and the community will watch this premiere together during the celebration.

Media partners WINK-TV and Naples Daily News have supported this teacher recognition program since its inception and thanks to their support, The Education Foundation will be able to share the story of the impact of teachers and delve more deeply into how great teachers make a difference in our communities.